Making their anniversary special
Decorations for a 25th Anniversary Party
by Dollar Stretcher Contributors
Throwing a Great Party for Less
Parties Without Panic
25th Anniversary Party Ideas
Decorations for a 25th Anniversary Party
My folks will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary in a few months. My brother and I are planning a party for them. It'll be at a clubhouse, so we can decorate it. But we're running short of money. Does anyone have suggestions that won't cost a lot? The party itself isn't a surprise, but I would like my parents to be surprised by our decorations.
Create a Keepsake Scrapbook
You could get people to write something about your parents and their marriage. Collect them and put them together in a notebook. Later, you could add photos taken at the event and make photocopies of some of the photographs that were borrowed for the event. Or if you know someone who scrapbooks and is willing to help, let them create a keepsake scrapbook for them. Be sure to include heartfelt letters from you and your brother.
Pamela (via Facebook)
The 25th Is the Silver Anniversary
Since the 25th is the silver anniversary, how about making silver your theme? Check out your local party store for balloons, streamers, etc. in silver. You can even get some silver wrapping paper (or even aluminum foil if you think that will work) to make table runners. Or, if you know their wedding colors, you can mix silver with one or both of them.
One decoration that always works for an anniversary is photos. Gather photos from the whole span of their marriage and display them. Many people put them all on a bulletin board right near the entrance, but I think it could also work well to arrange them by year on 25 sheets of colored paper, which you then hang in sequence all around the room (framed or unframed) to show the timeline of their marriage. You could tie this in with the first idea by using silver paper.
Decorate with White Paper flowers and Green Plants
I like to decorate for parties with white paper flowers and green plants. You can buy one ream of copy paper and make 500 white flowers. Tape them to pens or pencils as the stems. You can give them away after the party or recycle them. Green plants grow in my yard all year. I simply re-pot them in any plastic container, like butter tubs, and cover the tub in white copy paper and a ribbon. Life is simple. Use magic markers to make spots, hearts, or stripes.
Karen (via Facebook)
Use Balloons as Decorations for 25th Anniversary Party
Ask guests to wear clothes from the year your folks were married. Rent a helium tank and blow up balloons in their wedding colors. Cover the ceiling with the balloons or make balloon bouquets in clusters of 25. Make paper flowers. Pinterest is a great place to learn to make them. Copy any of their wedding pictures and blow them up on a copy machine and make huge posters of their wedding pictures. Instead of a cake, make cupcakes and punch. You could even ask guests to bring their favorite snacks or desserts. Most of all enjoy the day.
Keep It Inexpensive, Yet Memorable
Decorating for our parents' 25th anniversary was inexpensive and provided a great remembrance of their wedding day. We used their original wedding colors, utilizing all things yellow and blue in our own household decorations. A simple cake was baked and their original cake topper was placed on the cake. Family members pooled silver platters, china pieces, and table covers to decorate tables and the serving line. The grand finale and hit of the party was draping the focal wall with the original bridesmaid dresses, flower girl dresses, and other wedding day garments and accessories collected from the original wedding party. Everyone enjoyed this tremendously.
Create a Timeline
A lot has happened in 25 years, so how about a timeline? For my parents' 50th anniversary, we made a garland of colored pages, one for each year of their marriage, and wrote on them various historical or family events that happened that year. You can google a year and get a list of events that occurred then, and pick things that are of particular interest or significance to your family. This is a great project for kids, too, and the materials are cheap, including construction paper, string, tape, and markers. (If you have a color theme, you can use copy paper in your colors.)
Gail in NC
Say It in Silver
Silver spray paint will save the day. Concentrate on things that will endure rather than go in the trash can minutes after the guests leave. Buy cheap white disposable plates, glasses, and flatware rather than more expensive themed ones. Consider buying silver tulle in yardage for table covers. It can be reused later for other things. Buy silver spray paint. From a thrift store, buy baskets, artificial fruit, and any other items that will look nice in the baskets. Using a cardboard box as a paint "booth" on the patio or in garage, you should cover each with a fine layer of silver spray paint. Two coats might be required for some items. Load up the baskets with the goodies and hit the dollar store for some pretty white curling ribbon to trim the baskets. These baskets are your table decorations. You can even use tag board, cardboard, or Styrofoam to cut out shapes to hang around the room. Spray paint them as well. Silver will sparkle for the 25th anniversary recipients. Get some records (or mp3 downloads) that were at the top of the charts 25 years ago and play them all evening. Everyone will love that!
JD in St Louis
Remembering the Year They Were Married
We held a 40th anniversary party for my parents, and I purchased a CD with hit songs from the year they were married and played it as guests were arriving/mingling. I also purchased magazines and TV guides from their wedding month/year and had them on the tables for people to look through. I found them for a few dollars each on eBay. People loved it! You could expand this for wall decorations. Having pictures of cars, fashions, and prices from the year they were married would be fun.
The best thing we did, though not decorations, was asked the guests in advance to contribute a written memory of my parents with any/all pictures they wanted to share, and I compiled a keepsake album of these memories. My parents still enjoy looking through this and reminiscing. It was a big hit!
I have seen pictures of the couple and events through the years hung on the ribbons of helium-filled balloons. Let the balloons float around the room. What a great way to decorate and display photos of the special times in their lives!
Tried-and-True Decorating Tips
Here are some ideas I've used successfully for several weddings and anniversary celebrations without spending much money. Garage sale season is a great time to find things for a silver anniversary. Think Christmas. Look for ribbon, candleholders, vases, picture frames, garland, and twinkle lights. Check for ornaments and any other decorations that pertain to the couple's interests. Look for all these things not only in silver, but in the couple's original wedding colors or their favorite colors now. Be sure and check with family and friends to see what they can give or lend.
Decorate tables with silver picture frames with wedding photos, pictures of the family, etc. Use candles (or small vases of flowers) set among memorabilia and items that show the couple's likes, hobbies, and personalities. For example, if he's into golf, use a miniature book about golf, a few tees, a ball, or even a cartoon cut out in a small picture frame. On the other side of the centerpiece, use items from her life. For instance, if she likes to garden, use a colorful packet of seeds, a set of miniature garden tools tied with string and placed in a little flower pot, and a tiny basket with a few artificial flowers.
Ribbon adds color and elegance. Run it down the center of the tables. Swirl it through decorations. Make bows to put on the back of the couple's chairs. Use a pretty journal as a guest book so people can write favorite memories. Or have cards and a few pens in a beribboned basket or decorated box. Use another for people to deposit the cards after they've written them.
If you want to create a "wall" to hide an area of the clubhouse and don't have a folding screen, see if you can round up some ficus trees from friends. To make a higher wall, line the plants up on a bench or boxes draped with green plastic tablecloths. This kind of "wall" also makes an excellent backdrop for photos.
Teri in Everett, Washington
Take the Next Step:
- No time to take action now? Why not "pin it," so you can do it later?
- Visit the TDS library for more inexpensive party ideas.
- Visit our Let's Have a Party...For Pennies board on Pinterest for more frugally fun party ideas.
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor.
Trending on TDS
- Saving on dog food
- Make your own jewelry for less
- Make your own faux volcanic rock
- How to determine grocery store wine quality
- Spend time, not money, on exercise
- Inexpensive bachelorette party ideas
- What you shouldn't (and should) buy in May
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- 5 reasons to skip an all-inclusive vacation
- Secrets to living luxuriously for less
- Money-saving secrets of the rich and frugal
- Gain more by spending less